In a letter to Andrew Tyrie MP, the chairman of the Treasury select committee, said: “Until this is demonstrated, I do not believe that there is a credible and coherent case for abolishing cheques.”
Ministers would “intervene… if there is any threat that cheques may be withdrawn without suitable alternatives being put in place at all”.
Last year, 620million payments were made by cheque, compared with 6.29billion by debit card, and 1.88billion by credit card.
The Payments Council, which represents banks and payments groups, told MPs that it had not yet carried a cost benefit analysis on the plans and had yet to agree on a replacement.
MPs were scathing. Andrew Tyrie MP told Richard North, the council’s chairman, that the situation was “a shocking mess, a scandal”.